The Faculty offers an Orientation/Induction day for commencing research students three times per year. These induction days are usually scheduled in the first week of March, July and October. Please refer to the HDR Calendar for details.

Orientation is usually a full day and includes sessions from ICT, the Library, Student Services and SUPRA as well as detailed information and guidance from the Associate Dean Research Students and the HDR Administration Centre. The day includes information on administrative requirements, resources and services provided by the Faculty, a discussion on student and supervisor expectations and research ethics and integrity. Commencing students are expected to attend.

Time limits

A minimum and maximum period of candidature is specified for each candidate undertaking a research degree.

The minimum period is the earliest date at which you can complete the requirements for your research degree. Your target should be to complete within the minimum period.

You may submit a request to submit your thesis early (prior to the earliest completion date) but you must have substantial grounds for being permitted to do so and in some cases you may be required to seek Academic Board approval.

If it appears during your last year of candidature that you will not be able to complete the requirements by the latest completion date, you should apply for an extension to your candidature. However, extensions of candidature are not automatically granted and each application will be carefully considered.

It is also important to remember that HECS exemptions under the Research Training Scheme (RTS) for higher degree by research students last for a maximum of four years' full-time equivalent study (for a doctorate by research) and two years' full-time equivalent study for a masters by research.

As a guide, a Master of Applied Science (full time) student has a minimum of 1.5 years, and a maximum of 2 years. A part time M.App.Sc. student has a minimum of 3 years and a maximum of 4 years in which to complete.

In general a full-time PhD student has a minimum 3 years, and a maximum of 4 years. A part-time student has a maximum of 8 years in which to complete.

For more information refer to the Higher Degree Research Rule and for the Master of Applied Science consult the Faculty of Health Sciences Handbook.

Candidature Variations

During your candidature you may find a need vary your candidature details.

To vary your candidature you will need to submit a request through Sydney Student: access MyUni.

Enquiries related to candidature variations should be directed to the HDR Administration Centre.

Travelling for Research

If you are planning to travel for data collection or conference travel, please read the following and consult the Health and Safety information prior to organising your trip. If you plan to travel overseas to undertake research at another institution you must apply for time away.

To discuss insurance options please contact Audit and Risk Management to determine if your travel would be covered by the University Insurance.

As an HDR student it is highly likely that you will need to travel as a part of your candidature. Before you conduct any fieldwork or travel it is important to:

  • Familiarise yourself with the WHS requirements of the University and plan ahead to minimise risk.
  • Upload emergency contact details in Sydney Student Portal and provide this information to your Research Supervisor and/or Auxiliary Supervisor.
  • In liaison with your Supervisor, undertake a risk assessment of the trip and aim to develop strategies to reduce any risks identified, using University WHS Risk Management Forms. This must also align with the Ethics Guidelines For Managing Safety Risk To Researchers which also provide examples for consideration.
  • Where required by the nature of the research undertaken, provide, as a part of your HREC application, a Safety Protocol, according to the guidelines at the Human Ethics website.
  • With your Supervisor, ensure that ethics approval has been granted if undertaking data collection during travel.
  • Check with your supervisor that any risks you will face are minimised and unavoidable.
  • Ensure that your Research Supervisor or Auxiliary Supervisor have a full itinerary of your travel.
  • Ensure regular contact, following a defined schedule, with your Research Supervisor or Auxiliary Supervisor during travel.

Progress Reviews

All HDR students are required to show that they are making satisfactory progress at least once each calendar year. To do this students must complete an Progress Review report and are also required to undertake an interview. Students will be contacted by the HDR Admin Centre (via the student email account) prior to the review due date.

Enquiries should be directed to the HDR Admin Centre.


The supervision of postgraduate research students can be viewed as a mentoring role for a research apprenticeship; by graduation the student should be capable of initiating and conducting independent research of a high standard. The supervision team should have complementary, expert and appropriate skills and support the students' research program. The student-supervisor relationship should involve continuous, effective, intellectual interaction and oversight of the research at all times. Careful thought needs be given to the issue of personal compatibility as well as common academic interests. There should be clear definitions of the responsibilities and expectations of each of the parties (student, research supervisor, and auxiliary supervisor/s).

From time to time complaints may arise from students relating to academic or procedural issues relating to a research student’s candidature, the work environment, or the supervisory relationship. These guidelines have been developed to assist students, supervisors, postgraduate coordinators, and others in the fair and successful resolution of such issues. View the complaints procedure here.

The processes adopted by the Faculty in relation to non-academic complaints are based on and are consistent with the University’s Resolution of Complaints policy.

This document does not apply to complaints of harassment and discrimination, which are handled under the University’s Harassment and Discrimination Resolution Procedure.